She may not have the title she sought, but Hillary Clinton has still got what she wanted – the opportunity to clean up after President George W. Bush on the world stage.
Clinton, who fought a bitter contest with President-elect Barack Obama for the Democratic party nomination, has been appointed as his Secretary of State.
Being the face of foreign policy is a new chapter for one of the most tenacious figures on the US political scene and has been welcomed throughout the West.
On a visit to the UK, outgoing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was magnanimous, saying: “I know that she will bring enormous energy and intellect and skill to the position”
Experts say Clinton is a tough-talker and while her appointment might reassure the more hawkish elements it could disappoint those expecting a more radical shift. But Americans appear divided.
“I think he’s making the right decision, regardless of what, because change is good but we also need experience,” said one man in New York.
“I think it’s terrible, it’s not the change Obama has promised everyone. He got elected on change, Hillary is not change,” said another.
Obama also announced nominations for other key security posts, including Robert Gates, who stays on as defence secretary.
All are expected to win quick confirmation by the Democrat-controlled Senate.